The other electrical thing governing my life involves screens. The new TV is a joy to watch, and watch it I do. I still haven't sorted out its aerial, but I have plenty of DVDs to watch - Scrubs won't watch itself, and I've been buying Vic Reeves DVDs recently too. I really must hook up my freeview box too. The other screens, of course, are computer screens. If it were not for computer screens, I probably wouldn't have gainful employment the way that I do, though I guess I could still use a whiteboard for something. Of particular note, when it comes to screens, is the broken screen on my laptop. This has caused me to buy a replacement laptop. It has also caused me to use the existing laptop at a really uncomfortable angle... until a few seconds ago, when I discovered a clever trick for geting the screen to work absolutely perfectly at the angle I want to use it at.
So, have I just wasted the price of a new laptop?
No. This one was begging to be replaced. I finally found an excuse. I couldn't make an excuse with the inconvenience of its CD drive not writing discs - I bought an external writer. I couldn't make the excuse for replacement from the fact that the CD drive stopped working as I had an external one by then, and the drive works from time to time. I couldn't make an issue of the big crack in the case - it's just a crack - or the small hard drive - I just archived off some data. What about screen size? Get a life! Battery life - I rarely use it off the lead (well, that's probably why the battery's screwed!).
So, I was just going to live with all the problems and antiquities of the machine. Hell, I'd even upgraded it to the more recent version of Windows XP. Then the screen problem came and I decided, in seconds, to get a new machine. Quite right too. I should have a fancy machine with a widescreen display and a fast dual-core CPU. So, I have one on its way by the end of next week - that's the end of next week when I have my first gig in, like, ages, and so will not be wanting to mess about with a new computer. I will.
Anyway, I've just worked out a way of fixing this screen. It's not permanent and it will probably go wrong, the moment it's closed again. However, it means that this laptop will be useful to me for the next week, and I know someone who will make use of it beyond then. So, no harm done.
Other electrical things (following on the electrical theme). I learned an important lesson today. Don't work on live electrical cables. Don't. If you do, then don't. If you must, then it's probably best not to do it on an old fuse box without an RCD. If you do work on live cables on a fuse box without an RCD, then it's best not to hold an earthed casing in one hand while working on the live cable with the other. If you've come this far and still ignored my advice (well, it's my advice now), then at the very least don't use a metal screwdriver. Apparently, the result of this foolishness is some sort of current running across your body from live to earth.
Still, some lessons come basically for free. Nothing was broken, or burned, or damaged, or fused or anything. Just a very shamefaced me, taking myself aside for some man-to-himself time to explain "See what you did there". I got a coffee break out of it, though.
Very foolish indeed. What a knob!
However, despite my attempts to kill myself with foolishness, a lot of work has been completed today between 10am and 6pm. Not all of that time was spent working. Some 90 minutes of that was a "chat" with the roofer. A further hour or so was the time it took to get lunch and eat it. However, the price of lunch also bought me an accomplice for the afternoon, so more was achieved.
I also can't drain radiators in a way which causes no mess. Luckily, the mess was limited to some bare old floorboards.
Oh, and I recommend spending extra on a good mop bucket. A bucket whose squeezer-outer shatters on any downward force is probably a false economy.
So much to learn.